The first three prospects we focused on are guys who likely won't make an MLB impact till 2018 or 2019. Dan Vogelbach on the other hand, is almost surely going to be on the Seattle Mariners' Opening Day roster come April. The hefty first basemen was acquired in July from the Chicago Cubs along with Paul Blackburn in exchange for Mike Montgomery and Jordan Pries.
Looking at Vogelbach, it'd be easy to assume that he's a big power, big strikeout guy with his 6-foot, 250-pound frame. The fact of the matter is though, that Vogelbach not only has power, but also gets on base extremely well. Vogelbach hit 23 home runs with a slash of .292/.417/.505 between Triple-A Iowa and Tacoma.
It's been believed for a while that Vogelbach would be a better fit in the AL where he could be designated hitter more often, which is why a trade from the Cubs made sense. In addition, the 24-year-old was blocked by some guy named Anthony Rizzo who is supposedly pretty good.
The Mariners used a platoon of Dae Ho-Lee and Adam Lind last year, and it seems that Vogelbach will be replacing Lind's job in the platoon. His splits aren't quite as good as lefties, which makes sense as to why the Mariners dealt for Danny Valencia to play against southpaws. The veteran Valencia has mashed left handed pitchers for the better part of his career.
Vogelbach did get a short stint with the Mariners last year, registering one hit in 12 at-bats with a walk and six strikeouts. Despite a bit of a slow start, the Orlando native will be given every opportunity to make the roster in April. Vogelbach isn't a plus defender but is serviceable at the very least at first. He doesn't move particularly well, but the Mariners aren't expecting him to be swiping bases.
Jerry Dipoto revamped the Mariners lineup this offseason with Jarrod Dyson, Jean Segura and Mitch Haniger all likely to be in the starting lineup along with the platoon of Vogelbach and Valencia. Most projections slot Vogelbach into the sixth spot in the lineup, which puts him right behind the dangerous 3-4-5 of Cano, Cruz, Seager and will likely give him plenty of chances to drive in runs.
It'll be interesting to see if Vogelbach can control the plate as well as he did in the minors. His value is going to be at the plate, due to his lackluster speed and defense, but luckily that's what he's best at. Staying on the topic of guys who control the plate well, the next spotlight will be on the speedy and flashy 2016 draft pick Bryson Brigman.null